Tips for Distractions
March is National Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Month. Many of my clients have ADD or ADD like symptoms. This month, Peggy Barber of Good Thinking shares tools and techniques you can use when you feel distracted. Although her tips are for those with ADD, it can be helpful for anyone dealing with distractions in their office.Margo Crawford Productivity Coach
It’s a busy world we live in. There are so many things to distract us from what we need to be doing. A lot of people comment that “everyone has ADD.” This is definitely not true. Many of us with the diagnosis wish everyone did. How different things would be! We would never be misunderstood or thought of as flaky, selfish or careless.
Every time a client relates an embarrassing situation from work I think, “I’ve done that” or “I could see that happening to me!” I’ll never forget one client who told me that when her boss was standing behind her while she was filling out a report, she couldn’t remember his name (it was also the name of the company!). She needed to put his name in the report and hoped he would walk away so she could remember. What most people don’t know, especially those who have ADD, is that the ADD brain can shut down under pressure! Sure enough, after he walked away his name came back to her!
Few people disclose the fact that they have ADD/ADHD to their boss or coworkers. In most instances it isn’t necessary unless you need certain accommodations.
How do you deal with distractions at work? Are you aware of what exactly pulls your attention away? Let’s start with some basics.
Make sure your physical needs are met. Do you need to use the bathroom or get a drink or a snack? For those of us with ADD/ADHD food stimulates our brain and helps us focus.
Assess your needs and make changes. Are you comfortable, or are you too hot or too cold? Can you do something about it?
Write it on a bright Post-it note. Do you need to be reminded of something to and from work? and stick it on whatever you bring to home or work with you.
Write it down. Before you leave what you’re doing, write down what you are working on so you can get back to it. Or, write down what you need to do when you return.
Ask for help. Be Specific. Are you clear on what you need to be doing? Who can you ask? Strengthen your ABS-Ask for Help. Be Specific.
Plug in a reward for when you are done. Are you putting off a dreaded task? Those of us with ADD/ADHD do better if we can start with something more fun even if it is for 10 minutes! What gets rewarded gets done. Make a list of rewards to choose from. Nothing is too small.
Do what works for you. A client found that when his secretary marked his notes with a red pen it took away his incentive to work on the project. He realized that he didn’t like the color and when she switched to a color he liked, it made a big difference.
When you find things that keep you focused, write them down! We all have different things that work at different times according to moods, etc. The ADD/ADHD brain has a need for variety, so try something new and let me know how it works!
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches nationally by phone and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected]
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches nationally by phone and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected].